Citing administrative reasons, the Tamil Nadu Government has stalled the process of admissions for the Diploma in National Board (DNB), broad speciality and superspeciality courses, in government medical colleges for over two weeks now. In fact, it is learnt that the government is rethinking on starting the DNB courses in the State.
The diploma, offered by the National Board of Examinations (NBE), are considered equivalent to MD/MS degrees in broad specialities and MCh degree in superspecialities.
After opening the online applifcation process for admission to the courses from December 31, the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) closed the registration within a few days. According to TN health department website, the receipt and processing of applications are kept in abeyance due to administrative reasons. Officials of the directorate said that there were a few clarifications regarding the process. A total of 71 seats have been allotted for the DNB courses in the government medical colleges.
But sources also said that there were other factors at play. "The courses were offered in the State till 2003-04, until a few students pursuing MD/MS degrees filed a petition in the Madras High Court. The government then withdrew all DNB courses from the government medical colleges," said an official of the department. Some say that the government was hesitant to start the courses keeping in mind the tug-of-war between the NBE and Medical Council of India (MCI).
"MCI thinks that the DNB courses are not equivalent to MD/MS and that the chances of regular MD/MS students were curtailed. There was a representation of students against DNB courses earlier," added sources.
Nevertheless, several private institutions seem to prefer DNB courses. "We are very keen to give as many opportunities to students through the DNB. This year, seats have been allotted for DNB in TN medical colleges," said Professor A Rajasekaran, president of NBE.